Handmade in Britain: a BBC and V&A Partnership

Alison Britton, 'Big White Jug', earthenware, height 382mm, width 390mm, 1987. Museum no. C.233-1987

Alison Britton, 'Big White Jug', earthenware, height 382mm, width 390mm, 1987. Museum no. C.233-1987

In a major new partnership, the V&A and BBC Four present Handmade in Britain, an ambitious year-long season exploring the history of British decorative arts. The season begins this autumn with a three-part series on British ceramics. From the history of domestic pottery to the heart of Britain’s ceramic empire in Stoke-on-Trent to the studio potters of the 20th and 21st centuries, Ceramics: A Fragile History reveals why, throughout the nation’s history, makers have created objects that are beautiful as well as functional.

Two 60-minute films accompany this series, including Treasures of Chinese Porcelain which uncovers the extraordinary evolution of Chinese porcelain and its impact on British ceramics, presented by Chinese ceramics specialist, Lars Tharp. Britain’s Most Fragile Treasure, presented by historian Dr Janina Ramirez, unlocks the secrets of the famous East Window at York Minster, the largest medieval stained-glass window in the country.

From autumn 2011 to autumn 2012, Handmade in Britain will draw on the collections and expertise of the V&A, one of the world’s greatest museums of art and design. The partnership furthers the BBC’s commitment to building partnerships with the arts sector that go beyond broadcast, from sharing expertise to widening public engagement in UK arts. In Handmade in Britain some of the most evocative objects in the V&A are used to tell particular stories, highlight ground-breaking technical innovations and illustrate how the story of artistic development in Britain is one of multiculturalism and globalisation. Contributors to the programmes include V&A curators as well as collectors such as David Attenborough and contemporary practitioners including Grayson Perry and Edmund de Waal.

Handmade in Britain - a BBC & V&A partnership